New Zealand Diploma in Environmental Management - Marine Strand (Level 5)

Study marine biology in New Zealand's beautiful Bay of Plenty. Our students join us from all over the world to be a part of the fantastic field trips and to be with like-minded people learning about our stunning marine and freshwater environments, and the role they play in a healthy ecosystem. (This programme was previously known as 'Diploma in Marine Studies).

You'll learn about the fascinating range of plants, invertebrates, mammals, birds and fish that live above and below the water.

The year of study will whet your appetite to continue on to the Level 6 qualification which starts in 2019, where you'll gain more advanced skills and knowledge, with a focus on research, and environmental and ecological reporting and monitoring.

You’ll also be able to choose from a range of elective papers with an aquaculture, biosecurity, ecological, diving, or marine tourism focus.

If you choose the coral reef ecology and monitoring option you may even travel as far as Papua New Guinea to study the reefs.

By the time you graduate you’ll have gained a variety of practical and risk management skills, and if you want to gain a degree, these diplomas are your ticket into the third year of the Bachelor of Science with the University of Waikato and/or the Bachelor of Applied Science and Sustainability here at Toi Ohomai*. You may even decide to continue on further to complete your Masters and PhD.

Content Details

Level 5 Topics:

  • Conservation Biology and Sustainability
  • Risk Management
  • Marine Botany
  • Introduction to Marine Science and Ecology
  • Marine Invertebrates
  • Marine Vertebrates
  • Marine Biology Surveying Techniques

Choose one elective from:

  • Waste Management or Fisheries Management

If you decide to continue on to Level 6, the topics you'll cover are:

  • Research Design and Data Management
  • Environmental Reporting
  • The Regulatory Environment
  • Freshwater Ecology and Monitoring
  • Marine Ecology and Monitoring

Choose three electives from:

  • Geology of New Zealand
  • Ecological Restoration
  • Biosecurity
  • Aquaculture
  • Coral Reef Ecology and Monitoring
  • PADI Open Water Scuba Instructor
  • Marine Tourism
  • Diving for Scientific Purposes

NB: If you choose to follow the diving pathway through the diplomas you'll need to enrol in the National Certificate in Diving (Foundation Skills) (Level 3) or equivalent, which gives you PADI Open Water, Advanced and Rescue Diver qualifications. The National Certificate in Diving (Foundation Skills) (Level 3) is offered at Toi Ohomai at the same time as the Diploma and we'll talk this through with you when you apply.


Planned intakes*: February
Delivery modes: Full-time
Locations*: Tauranga (Windermere Campus)
Duration: One year

* subject to change. Intakes may vary between locations.

Each level is one year in duration.

To see full details of the next available intake please visit the application form.

Indicative Fees

2018 domestic students $6,317.00

The fee shown for domestic students is applicable to New Zealand citizens and permanent residents. If an international fee is not listed above please refer to the international fees page. All fees are indicative only and subject to change.

You MAY be eligible for a StudyLink Student Loan for your tuition fees.

Find out if your programme qualifies by visiting the Studylink website.

If you also need to pay course related costs, i.e. if outlined in programme costs above, you need to apply separately to StudyLink (up to $1,000/academic year for eligible students). Note course related costs are paid directly into your bank account by StudyLink and you will be required to pay this to Toi Ohomai Institute of Technology.

Qualifications Gained

Upon successful completion of the course you will receive:
  • New Zealand Diploma in Environmental Management (Level 5) with strand in Marine

Career Opportunities

Depending on your electives, career opportunities exist in a variety of regional council roles, or as an environmental consultant/surveyor/educator, fisheries enforcement officer, PADI dive instructor (worldwide), resource management adviser/consultant, roles in the aquaculture industry, roles at Kelly Tarlton’s or worldwide aquaria, dolphin or whale watching operations, or as a university science technician.

Study Pathways

Toi Ohomai Institute of Technology Pathways

Bachelor of Science (BSc) with a major in Biological Sciences

Entry Criteria

All domestic applicants under the age of 20 applying for Level 5:

  • Minimum of 42 credits at Level 3 NCEA or equivalent (suggested subjects are English, Mathematics and Biology/Sciences) OR Special Admission (see below)
  • Students should also have the ability to complete the physical requirements of the programme

Special Admission

Applicants who do not meet the academic requirements may be given special admission if they can provide evidence that they are capable of achieving the programme outcomes. Special admission may also apply for applicants over 20 years.


International applicants for whom English is not their first language will be required to show evidence of language competency, issued within the last two years, before being eligible to enrol in any non-English programme. The level of competency required is outlined in Rule 18 and Appendix 2 of the NZQF Programme and Accreditation Rules 2013. And below under the title English Competency.

English Competency

Level 5 certificate or diploma IELTS Academic score of 5.5 with no band score lower than 5 or completed NZ Certificate in English Language L4 with the Academic Endorsement or meets a relevant English Proficiency Outcome as outlined in Rule 18 and Appendix 2 of the NZQF Programme and Accreditation Rules 2013.

For domestic applicants for whom English is not their first language, evidence of language competency may be required.